Weekly Human Rights News: 30-06-23
This week’s human rights news includes our House of Lords event celebrating one year of our RITES Committee and an update on the Rwanda case.
We celebrated one year of our RITES Committee!
On Tuesday 27th June, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of our RITES Committee – a coalition of lived experience experts who use and advocate for the Human Rights Act every day. Experts spoke to parliamentarians and civil society groups in the House of Lords, alongside our trustee, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, a representative from the Council of Europe and our chair of trustees and former President of the European Court of Human Rights, Sir Nicholas Bratza.
We shared new resources on the Living Instrument and Margin of Appreciation principles
Our new explainer covers two important principles of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR): the leeway to read the meaning of the words in the law to ensure they are relevant to the circumstances of our time; and the scope each country has to make decisions on how the rights apply on certain matters in their country.
News from Elsewhere
The Rights Removal Bill has been stopped
On Tuesday 27th June, the Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk, announced that the UK Government will not be proceeding with the Rights Removal Bill. Our CEO described the announcement as a “huge relief to people across the UK” and recognised the important contribution from people who have shared their stories to ensure decision-makers understand the true impact of human rights in the UK.
The House of Lords voted to stop the Refugee Ban Bill disapplying the Human Rights Act
The Refugee Ban Bill as presented by the UK Government contained a concerning clause that would mean it didn’t have to be read compatibly with human rights. We joined over 50 organisations in supporting an amendment that would remove that clause and instead confirm that the Bill shouldn’t be used to breach the UK’s obligations under the ECHR. On Wednesday 28th June, the House of Lords voted in favour of that amendment. The House of Lords will continue to make changes on the Bill next week.
The Court of Appeal said the Rwanda policy breaches human rights law
On Thursday 29th June, the Court of Appeal handed down its latest judgment in a case brought by people seeking asylum, who claim the UK Government’s plans to send people to Rwanda to have their asylum claims heard there are unlawful. The Court of Appeal said that there are problems with Rwanda’s current asylum system that mean people may have their claims wrongly rejected and so be sent back to countries where they have suffered and are at risk of further inhuman treatment. The Court said this means the Rwanda policy as it stands is unlawful as it would breach people’s Article 3 rights. The UK Government said it is going to appeal to the Supreme Court.
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